Gothic conventions in 'The Others'

Topics: Gothic fiction, Light, Emotion Pages: 3 (1007 words) Published: June 16, 2014
Gothic Conventions used in The Others:
The film ‘The Others’ made by Alejandro Amenabar in 2011 is a film about a woman who lives with her two photosensitive children in their large, old home which she believes is haunted by ghosts. This film uses a large range of techniques and ideas to emphasise and contribute to its gothic themes. These techniques include dark and light imagery, symbolism and setting. The Others also uses traditional gothic ideas to develop these themes throughout the movie, including suffering, fixation of death and supernatural elements. Over all these ideas and techniques contribute to the eerie feel and suspense which makes this movie so captivating and gothic.

The first technique used in ‘The Others’ is dark and light imagery, throughout the entire film there is a battle between truth and how it is perceived and Amenabar uses this light and darkness as a symbol of this. An obvious example is the curtains which as used to block out all light and ‘protect’ the children. They create a haunting darkness throughout the entire house for the most part of the movie, this is contrasted by the candles the mother walks around with showing how she is the key to the truth. At the end of the movie when the children become aware of the truth- that their mother killed them and they’re ghosts the curtains are removed allowing light or the truth to flood into the house. The use of dark and light imagery helps enhance the gothic themes by creating the mood and setting of the film.

Another technique used to create a gothic feeling in the film is symbolism. Symbolism is used to make subtle hints to what the ‘truth’ is and to make you feel like things aren’t what they seem. Some examples are the clothing used in ‘The Others’ where Grace (the main character) wore dark, long dresses which covered up the majority of her body. These outfit choices were not only used to set the time period of the movie but it was also used a symbol. Her clothing was symbolic...
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